A uSwitch investigation revealed that some of the major phone companies, including Orange, Three, T-Mobile and Virgin Media have charged customers too much VAT.
VAT went up from 17.5% to 20% from 4th January, but some companies backdated the increase so that it came into effect for the whole of the first bill their customers got after the rise.
I took a personal interest in this story, because I noticed earlier in the month that I’d been overcharged. As you can see on this copy of my bill, although the billing period was the month leading up to 8th January, I was charged 20% the whole time. In reality, only four days of that bill should actually have been charged at 20%.
The difference is only about £1, and it’s probably more hassle than it’s worth to claim it back, but it’s still annoying.
It’s baffling as well, because the phone companies won’t be profiting from this – the VAT will go straight to the taxman!
How do you feel about this? If you were affected, are you angry? Or are you not bothered because the amount so low?
- Mobile phone VAT blunder (uswitch.com)
- Phone customers pay millions too much VAT: Taxman profits as bills include 20% rate for LAST year (dailymail.co.uk)
- Mobile firms charge 20% VAT for pre-rise calls (independent.co.uk)
- Confusion ahead of VAT price rise (uswitch.com)
- VAT rise to add £158 to household bills (uswitch.com)